How political parties  shared Shs23 billion

At least seven political parties with representation in Parliament have received a share of the Shs23b from the Electoral Commission (EC) for running their activities and meeting other budgets, Daily Monitor can reveal.

What you need to know:

  • The Political Parties and other Organisations Act mandates government to fund parties with representation in Parliament.
  • In terms of figures, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which has majority representation in Parliament, received Shs17b; National Unity Platform (NUP) got Shs3.1b, and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) received Shs1.7b.

  • Other political parties that received the money include Democratic Party (DP) (Shs485m), Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) (Shs485m), Justice Forum (Jeema) (Shs53m), and People’s Progressive Party (PPP) (Shs53m).

At least seven political parties with representation in Parliament have received a share of the Shs23b from the Electoral Commission (EC) for running their activities and meeting other budgets, Daily Monitor can reveal.
According to EC officials, the money was sent to the political parties this month as soon as it was received from the ministry of Finance as provided for by the law.
In terms of figures, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which has majority representation in Parliament, received Shs17b; National Unity Platform (NUP) got Shs3.1b, and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) received Shs1.7b.

Other political parties that received the money include Democratic Party (DP) (Shs485m), Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) (Shs485m), Justice Forum (Jeema) (Shs53m), and People’s Progressive Party (PPP) (Shs53m).
Mr Paul Bukenya, the EC spokesperson, told Daily Monitor yesterday that although the supplementary budget indicated that Shs35b had been allocated to the political parties, EC indicated that only Shs23.7b was released on February 4.  
“It is a matter of the law and it is what we followed. The money was received and we immediately sent it to the beneficiaries as we await the balance. There is a whole quarter coming so when we get the remaining money, we shall forward it as well,” Mr Bukenya said.

Section 14 of the Political Parties and other Organisations Act stipulates that government has the mandate to fund political entities with representation in Parliament through EC to run activities and pay bills for their offices.
On Wednesday, DP president Norbert Mao attacked NUP using his social media platform on why they had received the money and yet they had for a long time castigated and shunned the activities of the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD).

Asked what he meant in his statements on Twitter, Mr Mao said: “I want to let NUP, which has become a party of untouchables, know that there is threshold of accountability to do for the people. They are always preaching water and drinking wine and I think they now know what it means to work with government secretly and yet in public you say you can’t dialogue with them.” 

Looking back
During the 2019 IPOD summit, which sat in Munyonyo, the biggest discussion was to increase the money channelled to political parties from Shs10b to Shs35b and the method through which they are given because giving money in accordance to representation in Parliament was unfair to the other parties.

For instance, during the meeting, members resolved that out of the money that is given to parties, 15 percent would be given to all political parties, another 15 percent goes to IPOD secretariat while the 70 percent is what should be given out in accordance with party representation in Parliament. In 2021, when another IPOD summit sat at Kololo Independence Grounds attended by NRM, UPC, DP and Jeema, the matter of funding still came up, and President Museveni told the members that it would be handled immediately.
The recent summit, which happened last month, was shunned by both FDC and NUP. Mr Museveni proposed an amendment in the law to stop funding political parties which don’t believe in IPOD.


Mr Frank Rusa, the IPOD executive secretary, said the money was the mandatory allocation from Parliament, and NUP, which has not joined the IPOD, cannot receive any funding from them.
“That is government money not our money. We offer training and support to political parties in different ways but NUP, which is not a member, would not get such services. IPOD was just a bargaining power but the money is from taxpayers,” Mr Rusa said.
Mr David Lewis Rubongoya, the NUP secretary general, told this newspaper yesterday that they were aware of some political parties criticising them for receiving the cash from the NRM government and reiterated that they were not ready to associate with IPOD.

“Those people who are talking don’t have information. They are saying that we took Museveni’s money, did he sell his cows to give this money to us? This is taxpayers’ money allocated to political parties by Parliament and not for IPOD,”  Mr Rubongoya said.
Mr Fred Ebil, the UPC secretary general, said: “There is a need for leaders to be honest because this money right from the supplementary documents indicated that it is going to IPOD members. Let NUP join the dialogue if they want to benefit from this money.”

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